TAMPA - Tampa Police Detective Gary Pruitt is known as the 'dumpster detective.'
Pruitt knows all the places in East Tampa where people illegally dump trash.
A vacant lot on 9th Street and 26th Avenue North is littered with furniture, clothes, diapers, a stereo, and even a box of surgical gloves. "It costs money to take to the dump, it's just easier to pull up on a dark street like here and just get rid of it one night," said Pruitt.
It's frustrating for residents like Victor Cole, who try and keep the neighborhood looking good. "We don't want our community to be just trash, you know what I mean?"
Detective Pruitt does what he can to get the illegal dumpers. He's got two cameras, but more than 30 locations where people toss their trash.
For those caught dumping 15 pounds of trash it's a misdemeanor. But more than 500 pounds and we're talking about a felony.
To discourage more illegal dumping and catch other crimes, city council member Frank Reddick wants to move some of the cameras that were installed downtown for the Republican National Convention and bring them to East Tampa.
"They are trying to cover a whole seven-and-a-half mile radius with one detective, and he can't do the job," said Reddick.
There are concerns about privacy and cost when it comes to operating these cameras. But Victor says he's all for bringing the cameras to his neighborhood, if it means getting rid of the mess.
"We have to do what we have to do, and what is best for the community," said Cole.
The actual dump where garbage can be brought is just two miles away from the spot on 9th street where trash is piled high.
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